Reading like a writer is literally all about engaging with the text. You truly have to be able to understand what it is the author is aiming to accomplish, how they go about getting there, and why they chose that path as explained in "Read Like a Writer." In order to accomplish this one must look for six things when reading: organization, ideas, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, and conventions (Peha, 2003).
Now this is all easy to say but sometimes it is more difficult to put into practice. During my senior year I had to write a big speech, and in order to begin the writing process by preparing an outline my advisor had us read a previously written speech. We were instructed to highlight key parts and organizational skills, as well as the purpose of including certain stories or anecdotes. I started the exercise with good intentions, but soon became too engulfed in the message to read like a writer. I was paying more attention to the lesson and being entertained by the stories than to the reasons for choosing those particular parts. When reading like a writer it is important to be focused and understand that not everything is going to come all at once. Sometimes we have to go about it like I did that first time and read a piece multiple times, gaining new insight with each read.
In class leading up to our research paper we have discussed finding credible sources extensively. Not only does reading like a writer make our papers more successful, but having credible sources makes a paper more believable. Many times it's hard to tell right away if a source is credible and we discussed researching the author to delve more. I honestly hate doing that. When I find a source that supports my point I want to just call it good and use it, but tonight when I was doing the annotated bibliography I changed my ways for the first time ever. I researched an author. Six times over actually. It wasn't fun, I didn't enjoy one second of it. But it was interesting to see that the authors writing these articles actually did make a career out of researching American folklore. And although I didn't find any non-credible authors this time, I am positive in the past I have used bad resources because I failed to engage in the research and be active about pushing further. Other ways to determine if a source is credible is by dating the material, checking the author's purpose in writing the article, and determining the audience to distinguish bias (Purdue OWL, 2013).
Even in the writing of this post I had to double check my resources and read like a writer. Purdue is extremely well known for their credibility, and to check the second source I researched it. English rules are apparently everywhere.
Peha, Steve. “Reading: Read Like a Writer -- ComprehensionStrategies Six Traits Assessment.” Reading: Read Like a Writer -- Comprehension Strategies Six Traits Assessment, www.ttms.org/say_about_a_book/read_like_a_writer.htm. Accessed 20 Feb. 2017.
“Welcome to the Purdue OWL.” Purdue OWL: Establishing Arguments, owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/588/02/. Accessed 20 Feb. 2017.